Author Topic: growling and barking at strangers  (Read 6186 times)

Offline saintlykallismom

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growling and barking at strangers
« on: April 25, 2008, 07:25:48 am »
So recently our saint Kalli has started to growl and bark anytime a stranger comes near her. I feel like I can't take her anywhere because she won't let anyone she doesn't know get close. They don't even have to be coming towards her they could be just walking by. Well the other day I brought home a friend,this friend has never been to the house before, and Kalli was growling and barking and then she nipped at her. Nothing hard but but she startled my friend. I don't think she would actually bite hard but now I am scared that she will. I don't know how to stop this behavior. She hasn't always been this way and we have done are best to socialize her with people. Another thing I noticed that if the person has a dog with them then she is pefectly fine; I am assuming this is because she loves dogs. Does anyone have idea why she may have started doing this and how to stop it?

I have tried making her sit everytime a stranger is near. If someone is coming up to talk to me I have her sit and I get down at her level and I ask whoever it is to get to her level as well but it doesn't seem to be working she still barks and growls. People are becoming scared of her and its very sad because she is soo sweet to people that she knows. We could really use some help if you have any ideas.
Proud mama of:

Kalli- 6(?)month old saint bernard
Lexi- 6 mth old orange and white kitten
Franco- 5 yearold big black cat

Offline Tazz

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Re: growling and barking at strangers
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 03:34:53 pm »
We had people "treat" Rella. When meeting somebody new, they were told to ignore her until she sat down, then they gave her a treat. Now she looks at everybody as a treat source..lol.

Offline London_Pyr_Lover

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Re: growling and barking at strangers
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 08:39:53 pm »
Hi.

I've been havingthe same problem with Naja, it's not like she's not well socialized, we take her out to the park, for walks, to PetSmart all the time.  But just recently she will get aggressive with new people, and I think it's mostly when they show fear of her.  It all started last year, but stopped until about a month ago when I brought her to school with me.  I've tried having people give her treats (she LOVES cheese), she'll sit for the treat, but then start barking and growling again.  I try to correct her, put her in a down stay, she'll stay down for a minute, but then as soon as the person moves, she'll be right back up and barking again.  She did this last weekend and actually bared her teeth at my friend Dave when he came to my house for a BBQ!   :o :'(
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Offline saintlykallismom

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Re: growling and barking at strangers
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2008, 05:49:42 am »
We are going to try the treat route and see how that works. I just feel hesitant to take her with me places or have people over to the house that she isn't familiar with but I know the only way to correct this is to keep socailizing her. I will keep you updated on how things go.

If anyone has any other ideas we are open to them. Thanks!
Proud mama of:

Kalli- 6(?)month old saint bernard
Lexi- 6 mth old orange and white kitten
Franco- 5 yearold big black cat

Lyn

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Re: growling and barking at strangers
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2008, 02:45:48 pm »
We had.. well still have to a degree the same problem with Lola. She trust noone. Heck when we first brought her home she avoided us all like the plague. She bonded with Bubba first. I wish it would have clicked then.. but I figured she was just shy. :-\

As she matured we started seeing dog aggression (fear and dominance based) and growling and barking at strangers (fear based). We took her to a behaviourist. It definitely helped a great deal. I can now take her in public and to the vet without too much fuss. Regarding strangers she still will not allow just anyone to pet her. People can look at her.. talk to her but no touchy touchy. She starts off with low growls and quiet barks and now that I know her triggers I'm able to correct her and stop it before it even starts.

You definitely need to get her out and about. I used a gentle leader at first so I had head control with Lola, even though she never attempted to bite anyone I didn't want there to be a first time. Start off at a distance Kalli is comfortable with and gradually move out of her comfort zone. My trainer had me bombard her with treats if she was sitting quietly and watching people without reacting since Lola won't take treats from strangers. Plus noone was willing to try and give her any. It helped her associate strangers with treats to the point where she would see a stranger or another dog and then look to me for treats.

At our last vet visit a young Boxer pup decided to 'box' Lola on the head as we walked by. Her hair stood up, but no barking or growling she just kept walking. ;D That's a huge improvement of what would have happened in the past.

We've had a couple set backs.. dogs off leash charging up to her.. people not listening to me when I say she's fearful of strangers to give her space. I've heard 'All dogs love me' more times that I can count. ::)

Just keep at it.. she will get better. It's a slow ongoing process. Lola still doesn't love strange dogs or people but at least she tolerates their existance. ;)

Hoping this makes sense and it's not a bunch of rambling. I was up until 3am painting and I'm still working on my morning coffee. LOL